London’s very own and much loved festival of Japanese culture – Japan Matsuri – returns this year on Sunday 25th September to Trafalgar Square, one of the capital’s most famous landmarks.
Now in its 8th year and a regular fixture in the London calendar, this energetic annual event brings people together to enjoy an amazing day of Japanese food, music, dance and so much more. It’s a firm family favourite attracting large numbers of children and young people. And it’s absolutely free! This year we have special appearances from a number of renowned Japanese performers, some of who will be appearing for the very first time in the UK. There will be a dynamic dance routine from the spectacular Aozasa Shishi Odori (deer dancers), who will make their UK début thanks to the generous support of the Japan Foundation.
This year also sees the return of the extremely popular Radio Taiso musical exercise team that get thousands of people in Trafalgar Square to swing and stretch in unison, always an amazing sight. The unmissable Joji Hirota and the London Taiko Drummers will also captivate you with their mighty thunder drum sound while magician Taiju Fujiyama will dazzle you with traditional Japanese magic. Bright 10am Kick Off As in previous years, everything kicks off bright and early at 10am and the action runs nonstop all the way through until 8pm in the evening. With two stages, there is plenty to see all day with an exciting main stage programme and amazing displays of martial arts on the second stage. Swing to the beat of taiko drumming or sing along to catchy songs from popular artists like Naomi Suzuki on the main stage. We even offer you the public a chance to sing to the crowds if you fancy joining in our ever popular Nodojiman karaoke singing contest!
Enjoy the atmosphere with delicious Japanese festival food from a host of brightly coloured stalls. Join in the fun in the family activities area with traditional Japanese games and opportunities to lean origami and Japanese calligraphy or dress up in traditional Japanese costumes. There will also be a massive nine metre long canvas upon which you can draw your own creations right in front of the National Gallery! Celebrating 125 years of Friendship This year we are celebrating the 125th anniversary since the founding of the Japan Society, an organization which promotes friendship and understanding between the UK and Japan.Japan Matsuri is a charity and organized by volunteers from the Japan Association in the UK, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the UK, the Japan Society and the Nippon Club. Additionally it receives support from the Embassy of Japan in the UK and the Japan Foundation and is also supported by the Mayor of London and Westminster City Council.